I think we might be out of Dras-Leona soon. Goodie goodie, Brom will be dead.
Worshipers of Helgrind
Huh, I always thought it was ‘worshippers’. According to my autocorrect, both are right. You learn something new every day!
Anyway, we start this chapter with Brom ever so subtly scrawling a note to Eragon straight up on the wall of the room. Seriously you couldn’t find some paper? At least Eragon has the decency to wipe it clean.
Eragon doesn’t have any ‘tasks’ or anything to do today so Brom’s let him wander. Knowing Eragon, it probably would have been wiser to tell him to stay shut up in the room. He’s disappointed that none of the shops are as exciting as Angela’s shop, but I’m thankful for that to be honest.
Eragon eats his lunch sitting on a curb, which is fascinating because I had no idea they had curbs back then (or ‘back then’ in terms of the vague Medieval period this is based on). I also thought it was spelt ‘kerb’. Again, both are right. Is this book written in American English? I’m starting to think so but I’ve never realised. I need to keep an eye out for words like ‘color’.
Eragon goes to see an auction and before it’s revealed it’s a bit obvious it’s a slave auction. We were just introduced to the concept of slavery in this world in the last chapter so it seems kind of predictable.
The crowd laughs at the auctioneer making jokes about the slaves, a child is torn from her mother’s arms, it’s all quite predictable. This only serves to make Eragon angry though. I don’t know, it doesn’t come off as particularly poignant to me. I do like, however, that Eragon uses this moment to realise that this is why he needs to be a Rider. He seems to come to the conclusion that he has to fight the Empire, and even though it’s obvious that’s what he was going to do, it’s nice to see him work through that.
Eragon goes to the cathedral and it has an inscription in the Ancient Language over the door. Shouldn’t it be in the language of Tosk? I’m sure that the tunnels of Dras-Leona are lined with a different language. Even if they do (for whatever reason) try to hide the fact that they worship the ra’zac over Helgrind, surely they’d want to engrave their cathedral in the right language?
The cathedral is also described as being like “a predator crouched in the city, waiting for its next victim.” I really like this description, because I feel like it adds to the whole feeling of Dras-Leona being like a trap. And it’s great that it’s described like a crouching predator – a predator just about to pounce – because Eragon is just about to be attacked.
Okay, the stained glass windows are described as leaving “transparent hues”. That’s not the right word is it? Does transparent mean colourless as well? I’m actually not sure on that one.
Anyway, Eragon does a bit of a weird prayer. He prays to the cathedral because it has seen some awful stuff.
I like the way the ra’zac appear. There’s no dramatic entrance; Eragon just looks up and they’re standing there. It’s creepy. This is good because it shows us that the ra’zac are great predators; they were able to easily sneak up on Eragon and almost just appear at the entrance to the Cathedral.
I also like that, in typical Eragon fashion, he does not fear them. His immediate reaction is anger and hatred. This is such a great contrast to the Eragon we see in the later books who is more cautious. He only realises the danger he’s in when they avoid his arrows with ease.
I’m not entirely sure why he gazes ‘hungrily’ at the ra’zac and then immediately leaves. If he was that hungry for revenge, he’d probably just go for it. This Eragon is fleeing.
When Eragon runs away, it’s written well. We get a lot of short sentences which show his urgency without actively telling us that his escape is urgent. That’s good. Eragon pulls himself up over a wall – didn’t he have a broken wrist? That is seemingly forgotten about for the moment. It does say that he’s in pain but references his shoulders rather than his wrist.
He finally speaks to Saphira and she tells him to get to the inn and that they don’t have much time. Eragon still managed to find time to pack their belongings and prepare the horses!
The two appear to have a massive surge in power during their escape. Brom knocks out a whole line of soldiers and Eragon stops the gate from closing. In an earlier chapter, it’s explained that doing something with magic takes the same amount of energy as doing it by hand would, so I don’t know how on earth Eragon managed that.
We finally end this chapter on a cliffhanger as Eragon and Brom are knocked unconscious. It’s almost time for Brom to die. I can’t wait.